10 Best Songs of the Week: Daniel Rossen, SASAMI, Toro y Moi, Vundabar, and More | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, November 27th, 2022  

10 Best Songs of the Week: Daniel Rossen, SASAMI, Toro y Moi, Vundabar, and More

Plus Hercules and Love Affair, !!!, TRAAMS, and a Wrap-up of the Week’s Other Notable New Tracks

Feb 25, 2022
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Welcome to the eighth Songs of the Week of 2022. With Russia invading Ukraine on Thursday morning (and the increased threat of invasion earlier in the week), it was a bit hard to pull away from CNN and focus on new music. But nevertheless we were able to come up with a good list of songs we liked this week.

In the last week we posted interviews with Tears For Fears, film director Brian Petsos, actor/comedian Jeff Hiller (co-star of the new HBO show Somebody Somewhere), and SASAMI.

In the last week we also reviewed a bunch of albums.

Don’t forget to pick up our new double print issue, our 20th Anniversary Issue (which is out now) and to preorder our first album, the 20th anniversary compilation Covers of Covers. Also check out our Top 100 Albums of 2021 list and our Top 130 Songs of 2021 list.

To help you sort through the multitude of fresh songs released in the last week, we have picked the 10 best the last week had to offer, along with highlighting other notable new tracks shared in the last seven days. Check out the full list below.

1. Daniel Rossen: “Unpeopled Space”

On Tuesday, Daniel Rossen of Grizzly Bear shared a new song, “Unpeopled Space.” The song features Grizzly Bear’s Christopher Bear on drums and percussion, and it is the latest release from Rossen’s forthcoming debut solo album, You Belong There, which will be out on April 8 via Warp. The six-minute folk rock opus wouldn’t sound out of place on Grizzly Bear’s earlier albums, such as Yellow House.

Upon announcement of the album last month, Rossen shared its lead single, “Shadow in the Frame,” which was also one of our Songs of the Week.

In 2012, Rossen released the Silent Hour / Golden Mile EP via Warp. He shared the song “Deerslayer” back in 2018, which was one of our Songs of the Week.

Grizzly Bear released their newest album, Painted Ruins, in 2017 via RCA. It was our Album of the Week and the band were on the cover of our summer 2017 print issue. In addition, Painted Ruins was one of our Top 100 Albums of 2017.

Read our 2017 cover story on Grizzly Bear and Painted Ruins.

Read our 2017 cover story bonus Q&A with Grizzly Bear. By Joey Arnone

2. SASAMI: “Make It Right”

SASAMI (aka Los Angeles-based musician Sasami Ashworth) has released a new album, Squeeze, today via Domino. On Tuesday, she shared its fifth single, the short burst of a propulsive song that is “Make It Right,” shared via a video featuring Ashworth hugging herself, among other things. Heidi Bivens directed the video.

Bivens is also the costume designer for the acclaimed HBO show Euphoria and the video was styled by Euphoria assistant costume designer Angelina Vitto, with make-up done by Euphoria make-up artist Alexandra French.

Ashworth had this to say about the song in a press release: “‘Make It Right’ is an ode to Fleetwood Mac’s more tantrum-y vibes with a hair of Crass-y marching snare. She’s a desperation bop about not being communicated with. I love a fuzzy riff. Need more guitar riffs in 2022. The video is a collaboration with some of my good friends and style icons Heidi Bivens, Angelina Vitto, Alexandra French, and a whole team of absolute legends. Heidi has an incredible eye for beauty, shapes, and mystery.”

View SASAMI’s upcoming tour dates, including shows with Mitski and HAIM, here. Today we posted our new interview with SASAMI.

Upon announcement of the new album in October of last year, Ashworth shared the songs “Skin a Rat” and “The Greatest,” the latter of which was one of our Songs of the Week. Then in January she shared its next single, the industrial sounding “Say It,” which also landed on Songs of the Week. Then she shared its fourth single, the melodic “Call Me Home,” which was also one of our Songs of the Week.

Ashworth self-produced Squeeze, with some co-prodution help from Ty Segall. The album also features Hand Habits’ Meg Duffy, King Tuff’s Kyle Thomas, Christian Lee Hutson, Barishi, Moaning’s Pascal Stevenson, Jay Bellerose, and No Home.

Ashworth’s self-titled debut album, SASAMI, came out in 2019 via Domino. Read our interview with her on the album. By Mark Redfern

3. Toro y Moi: “The Loop”

On Tuesday, Toro y Moi (aka Chaz Bear) shared a video for his new single “The Loop.” It is the latest release from his forthcoming studio album, Mahal, which will be out on April 29 via Dead Oceans.

Upon announcement of the album last month, Toro y Moi shared the tracks “Postman” and “Magazine.” His most recent album, Outer Peace, was released in 2019 via Carpark. By Joey Arnone

4. Vundabar: “Lore”

On Wednesday, Vundabar shared a video for their new song “Lore.” It is the latest release from their forthcoming album, Devil for the Fire, which has been rescheduled for April 15 via Amuse (the album was originally set for a February release upon its announcement last year).

In a press release, frontman Brandon Hagen describes “Lore” as “a walk through a bending mind. It’s about the lineage of meaning, about how all these invisible threads of history, construct and memory (personal and collective) permeate everything around us and in many ways eclipse and obscure the moment. So much of life is made opaque by residuals of the past, so much of our thought exceeds our ability to understand a complicated and evermore complicating world and a history we live in but do not remember.

“Yet the brain stores that history and writes it into our DNA. It dictates the formation of our reality in ways that exceed our ability to consciously understand it. The song wonders where the line is drawn between the self and the world of ghosts that we navigate, it wonders how much of oneself is a mosaic of the past and how many of those disparate pieces can be placed to form a new image in the eye of the beholder.”

Regarding the video, which was created by Hagen alongside Broadway set designer Corey Umlaut, Hagen adds: “The goal was to create a reality that feels amorphous and bendy, to reflect the concepts in the song. We used the 1962 horror film Carnival of Souls as a reference, as it follows a protagonist through a reality that is warping and distorting and has a feel that alternates between playfulness and dread.”

Upon announcement of their upcoming album last November, the band shared the album’s title track, “Devil for the Fire.” A month prior, they shared two other album tracks, “Aphasia” and “Ringing Bell.” Their previous album, Either Light, came out in 2020 via Gawk. By Joey Arnone

5. Hercules and Love Affair: “Grace”

On Thursday, Hercules & Love Affair (the project of Andy Butler) announced the release of a new album, In Amber, which will be out on June 17 via Skint/BMG. They also shared a video for a new song from the album, “Grace,” which features vocals from Butler alongside Icelandic singer Elin Ey. View the album’s tracklist and cover art here.

“In dance music, the focus tends to be more on celebration, joy, desire, heartbreak,” Butler muses in a press release. “But rage? Existential contemplation? Not so much…certain emotions seemed to be off limits. In some ways, In Amber is a record I didn’t know I had in me.”

He continues: “As an artist that has always put my personal lived experience forward in my work, not to mention the chaos of living through these recent times, I could not in good conscience make something comfortable. I needed to express my discomfort. Making a ’90s sounding techno or house record, or an odd ’80s sounding dance track was not anything I needed to do.”

In Amber features musical contributions by ANOHNI. The most recent Hercules & Love Affair album, Omnion, came out in 2017 via Big Beat. By Joey Arnone

6. !!!: “Storm Around the World” (Feat. Maria Uzor)

On Wednesday, !!! (pronounced Chk Chk Chk) announced the release of their ninth studio album, Let It Be Blue, which will be out on May 6 via Warp. The group also shared a new single, “Storm Around the World,” which features Maria Uzor of Sink Ya Teeth. View the album’s tracklist and cover art here.

In a press release, the group state: “‘Storm Around the World’ is a song we’ve had since the last album that didn’t really come into focus until Maria Uzor from Sink Ya Teeth added her part and we turned it into a duet. Originally an acid workout about parents who leave on tour, it became much more than that with her vocal, which is equal parts sing-song and spoken word and whose lyrics helped add both a familiarity and a mystery to the song.

“On this record we were looking for basic minimal arrangements—sub-bass, drums and vocals mostly—and that approach is what finally let us support the vocal parts in a way that worked. The final piece was the beat that our producer Patrick Ford made that felt somewhere between programmed, sampled and played, a blurriness that is another feature of this album, Let It Be Blue, which was mostly built on computers but doesn’t always sound or feel that way.”

In 2020, the band shared a double single with the songs “I’m Sick of This” and “So We Could Fuck.” Their most recent album, Wallop, came out in 2019 via Warp. By Joey Arnone

7. TRAAMS: “Sleeper” (Feat. Soffie Viemose)

Yesterday, British post-rock band TRAAMS shared a new single, “Sleeper,” which features Soffie Viemose of Danish five-piece Lowly. It was produced by Matt Peel.

In a press release, frontman Stu Hopkins states: “For a time we were quite set on this track staying as an instrumental. It wasn’t until the night before we were heading up to the studio that [Leigh] Padley sent through a new demo, quietly singing into his laptop in the dead of night.

“Originally serving as a mood piece that would bridge a few of the others together, once we started to add singing, ‘Sleeper’ fast became one of our favorite tracks. It touches on the themes of time, longing and belonging that we have throughout the album, but they are at their lightest and most human on this track.

“The freedom of the studio is really apparent on this track. There was a chance to play with layers and dynamics that we’d not really done before, there are no live drums, we played with vocal samples to create musical sections, it’s the most collaborative track we’ve ever done. We like it very much”

In 2020, TRAAMS shared the songs “The Greyhound” (which was one of our Songs of the Week) and “Intercontinental Radio Waves” (also one of our Songs of the Week). By Joey Arnone

8. ill peach: “COMATOSE”

This week, pop duo ill peach shared a video for their new single “COMATOSE.” It is their contribution to the Hardly Art Singles Series. The Los Angeles duo features Jess Corazza and Pat Morrissey. “COMATOSE” is the sound of Purity Ring colliding with ’90s drum ‘n’ bass (think Goldie).

In a press release, the duo state: “‘COMATOSE’ imitates the sound inside of our head. Like a Being John Malkovich moment. It’s the beautiful chaos that was living inside of our mind during 2020. It’s colorful and frantic but emotional and personal. We tried to capture that feeling you get when you’re dropping on the craziest rollercoaster at Six Flags. It’s aggressive and out of your control but so real and amazing and completely exotic. Wanting to feel good. Feel your best. That’s the mission.” By Joey Arnone

9. Loop: “Fermion”

Yesterday, U.K. shoegazers Loop shared a video for their new single “Fermion.” It is the latest release from their forthcoming fourth studio album, Sonancy, which will be out on March 25 via Cooking Vinyl.

Sonancy will be the band’s first studio album since 1990’s A Gilded Eternity.

Frontman Robert Hampson had this to say about the album in a press release: “I’m influenced by J.G. Ballard and Philip K. Dick to a certain degree. Lyrically, if you listen to it intently, there’s this dystopian outlook. There’s a lot of anger in there. I don’t like seeing the wanton abuse of power, which is what we’re seeing right now and I’m disgusted by it. I wouldn’t say Sonancy is bleak though because I’m one of those people who believes there’s a chance for change. That may be naïve, but I always hope that people will come out of this coma they all seem to be in. I’ve imbued the lyrics with a little bit of hope.” By Joey Arnone

10. Momma: “Rockstar”

On Monday, New York-based band Momma shared a video for their new single, “Rockstar.” The new song is out now via Polyvinyl.

In a press release, band member Allegra Weingarten states: “Etta [Friedman] and I wanted to write a song about making it big, and becoming rockstars. We didn’t want to take anything too seriously, lyrically or musically. We just wanted the song to sound big. We thought it would be cool to have our own little rockumentary condensed in a three minute music video. It’s also kind of like a manifestation—I think we shamelessly want all of these things to happen in our careers.”

In November, Momma shared the song “Medicine” upon signing to Polyvinyl. Their most recent album, Two of Me, came out last year via Danger Collective. By Joey Arnone

Honorable Mentions:

These songs almost made the Top 10.

The Boo Radleys: “Alone Together”

Denzel Curry: “Zatoichi” (Feat. slowthai)

Tianna Esperanza: “Lewis”

Florence + The Machine: “King”

Gang of Youths: “spirit boy”

Just Mustard: “Still”

Porridge Radio: “Back to the Radio”

Proper.: “Huerta”

Royksopp: “This Time, This Place” (Feat. Beki Mari)

Still Corners: “Far Rider”

Here’s a handy Spotify playlist featuring the Top 10 in order, followed by all the honorable mentions:

Other notable new tracks in the last week include:

The Afghan Whigs: “I’ll Make You See God”

Battle Ave: “Fool”

Bellows: “Thumb in the Dam”

Charlotte Rose Benjamin: “satisfied”

Bloc Party: “Sex Magik”

Blue States: “Trust in Wires”

Naima Bock: “Every Morning”

Cola: “So Excited”

Hannah Diamond: “Staring at the Ceiling”

Diane Coffee: “Forecast” (Feat. Deep Sea Diver)

Elf Power: “The Gas Inside the Tank”

Elzhi and Georgia Anne Muldrow: “Strangeland”

Geese: “This Must Be The Place” (Talking Heads Cover)

Girlpool: “Dragging My Life Into a Dream”

Christian Lee Hutson: “Age Difference”

Grace Ives: “Loose”

Chelsea Jade: “Good Taste”

Tim Kasher: “I Don’t Think About You”

King Garbage: “Monster Truck”

Pierre Kwenders “Heartbeat” (Feat. anaiis)

Mdou Moctar: “Nakanegh Dich”

Montaigne and David Byrne: “Always Be You”

Oso Oso: “Pensacola”

Bonnie Raitt: “Made Up Mind”

Rosalia: “Chicken Teriyaki”

Troye Sivan and Gordi: “Wait”

Regina Spektor: “Becoming All Alone”

Spice: “Any Day Now”

Talker: “My Meds”

TORRES: “Making Memories of Us” (Keith Urban Cover) and “All Apologies” (Nirvana Cover)

Alan Vega: “Invasion” and “Murder One”

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